Spiritual Glamour and Flowerbomb Midnight

Blurring the lines between art and fashion, Dutch icons Viktor Horsting and Rolf Snoeren constantly push the boundaries of conceptual design. Last season, we’ve all seen the showstopping, statement-making couture gowns walk down the runway demanding ‘no photos please’ or just simply saying ‘NO’. The S/S 2019 couture show, titled «Fashion Statements», presented those language memes in tiers of tulle and had an outstanding viral response.

Backstage with Viktor & Rolf last week in Paris

But how to top this collection? I was curious. Last week I was invited to their F/W 2019 Haute Couture show in Paris not only to see the new breathtaking défilé, called «Spiritual Glamour» but also to experience the connection between art, fashion and beauty. The mission? To make the world a better place.

When I went backstage before the show, I experienced their unmistakable artistic craftsmanship first hand, which can also be found in their iconic fragrance Flowerbomb which got a new addition to the perfume family with Flowerbomb Midnight, a mysterious, floral and sensual facet, enveloped for the first time in a sumptuous radical black bottle. Spellbinding and captivating, sparkling and intimate, this eau de parfum for women celebrates midnight, a moment of transformation where women can let their sensuality explode.

Flowerbomb Midnight is a long-lasting floral-chypre-fruity perfume, an olfactory bomb of sensuality designed around night-blooming jasmine. Also called «queen of the night,» this mysterious flower only blooms and reveals her captivating scent when the day falls. Layered with the intoxicating second-skin patchouli and musk accord, vanilla and praline, it gives Flowerbomb Midnight its tremendous depth and contrast. The powerful fruity notes of blackcurrant and pomegranate accord sparkle while bergamot adds a fresh, zesty note enhanced by spicy, aromatic pink pepper. This mouth watering new fragrance was created by four famous noses, Dominique Ropion, Domitille Michalon-Bertier, Carlos Benaïm and Fanny Bal. In Switzerland, Flowerbomb Midnight is exclusively available at MARIONNAUD.

On the runway, Viktor & Rolf showed magical dresses for the «queen of the night». The moon, the stars, the sun appeared as applications and addition to their futuristic fabrics. With the help of Claudy Jongstra, who has been developing her own textiles over decades, Viktor & Rolf created a collection that is different, almost an epiphany for the fashion savvy.

The artist has her own biodynamic dye garden in the Northern Netherlands where she produces botanical pigments to create dyes for the final artisanal touches to these extraordinary pieces. She is even raising rare Drenthe Heath sheeps, reimagines and reconstructs textile production systems, demonstrating deep respect for the interwoven narratives of materials, landscape, and making processes. A highly innovative artist, Claudy Jongstra has created new territory for wool as a contemporary artistic medium, captured and processed by the designer duo Viktor & Rolf.

The collaboration is outstanding as both partners treat couture like a laboratory and show that haute couture is not outdated yet. That it can be a leader in terms of sustainability.

Furthermore, «spiritual glamour» can be found everywhere, in a rare flower used in a scent, in a fabric that creates a gown or in an artist that wants to make the world a better place with his or her designs. The world of fashion, art and beauty are all interlinked, it is up to us how we want to transport the message ourselves. Let’s drop a bombshell and be our own muses.

Celebrity spotlight at the show: Miss Fame and Christina Aguilera, both boasting the Viktor & Rolf’s unapologetic irreverent slogans and unmistakable artistic craftsmanship from the S/S 2019 Haute Couture collection.

Enjoy more of my impressions below, especially my favorite moment at the end when I met Christina Aguilera.

LoL, Sandra

I got a little shaky… so excited to meet the singer in person!

Everything before a fashion show is last minute.

Personally speaking seeing the craftsmanship and outstanding fabrics so close…

… was a true pleasure and makes you appreciate the work of couture even so much more.

I love watching the make-up artists doing their job.

The eye make-up was outstanding.

Belgian make-up artist Peter Philips, who is currently the creative and image director of Christian Dior makeup, doing the final check-up of the model’s look.

Lots of L’ORÉAL hair spray and fake hair needed for the volume.

Photos: © Sandra Bauknecht 

Dinner with Frédéric Malle

Frederic_Malle_Cover

Lately, I was invited by Perfumery Osswald in Zurich and had the amazing honor to have dinner with Frédéric Malle, a very captivating and inspirational gentleman, a father of four, and the man behind the niche fragrance house Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle. Born in 1962, he grew up immersed in the world of perfumery (his grandfather Serge Heftler-Louiche founded Christian Dior Perfumes, and Frédéric’s mother later worked as an Art Director for the same perfume house) and has a deep knowledge of raw materials, fragrance structure and accords that he shared with me that night. His ‘Editions’ collection includes scents by distinguished noses including Dominique Ropion, Jean-Claude Ellena and Pierre Bourdon.

IMG_0198With Frédéric Malle at dinner at the Widder hotel.

Malle studied art history and economics at New York University. In 1988, he began his career at Roure Bertrand Dupont, the prestigious perfume laboratory. After working in the industry for more than 12 years, Frederic was ready to embark on a new adventure.

Frederic_Malle_20004 of his first launched perfumes in 2000: Lipstick Rose (Ralf Schwieger), Musc Ravager (Maurice Roucel), En Passant (Olivia Giacobetti) and Une Fleur de Cassie (Dominique Ropion).

In 2000, using his connections and experience in the industry, Frédéric invited nine top perfumers to design their own original perfumes with no restrictions, not even financially regarding their ingredients they chose. Thanks to Frédéric Malle, the return to luxury perfumery took place at the beginning of our century. In an era in which most companies put more importance on brand names, Malle brought the attention back to the product itself: perfume.

Until today, through a simple “back to basics” approach, Editions de Parfums is challenging all prevailing trends. Frédéric Malle’s contribution to the creation of the different fragrances sold under Editions de Parfums varies depending on the perfumers’ desire. Perfumers appeal to him to assess their work in progress and to share ideas.

Frederic-Malle-03

These fragrances are packaged in bottles that feature the name of the perfumer—a first in the industry, where the perfumer is traditionally behind the scenes and credit for the scent is given to the fashion house or celebrity on the bottle. While we were talking during dinner, I could sense that Frédéric Malle is very fond of Dominique Ropion‘s work. The two of them seem to build an amazing team.

quote_Malle

The development of a signature scent is a lengthy process, generally lasting between 6 and 18 months. Each fragrance starts with an idea, an “olfactive sketch,” which can either take the form of a material base – the mix of two or three raw materials, like colors in an abstract painting – or of an initial feeling, the desire to translate or convey a specific emotion. From there, the perfumers gradually build a full-scale composition, tinkering and problem-solving until a perfect balance is achieved. The challenge is to polish and perfect without losing the impact and personality of the original idea.

Eliminate all that is superfluous or merely decorative” – this, Frédéric Malle’s credo, is the only rule imposed on the house perfumers. Malle requests that each fragrance be designed to uniquely merge with the wearer’s skin rather than to just be a “pretty scent.”

Frederic_Malle_Parfums

Designer Frédéric Malle has more than 25 perfumes available at the moment, made in collaboration with perfumers Jean-Claude Ellena, Dominique Ropion, Maurice Roucel, Bruno Jovanovic, Carlos Benaim, Olivia Giacobetti, Pierre Bourdon, Edmond Roudnitska, Ralf Schwieger, Edouard Flechier, Michel Roudnitska and Sophia Grojsman.

Frederic-Malle_Downstairs-finalNew investments under the new helmet: Frédéric Malle’s London store at 14, Burlington Arcade.

Two years ago, The Estée Lauder Companies acquired Editions de Parfums Frédéric Malle.

Frédéric Malle said about his decision to sell part of his company: “The Estée Lauder Companies has great respect for the art of perfumery and for the creativity, dedication and mastery required to create truly exceptional fragrance experiences. The company’s commitment to a high standard of excellence and ability to support the growth of entrepreneurial concepts in a way that preserves all that is unique and special makes The Estée Lauder Companies the ideal partner for us.

A truly inspirational creator and a real business man!

TO SHOP FREDERIC MALLE ONLINE, CLICK HERE PLEASE.
In Switzerland a large selection is available at Perfumery Osswald in Zurich.

LoL, Sandra

Frederic_Malle_Logo

Photos: Courtesy of Frédéric Malle and © Sandra Bauknecht, via Mr Porter